Competition provides students with an opportunity to create a business

Kelsee Brady, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

The 2019 Berry Student Business Pitch Competition is an event that provides students with funding for their ideas and businesses. Paula Englis, professor of management, is in charge of planning and organizing the competition.

“The Pitch Competition is a chance for students who have ideas to bring them to fruition or who have little businesses to get some resources to help them lift their businesses to the next level,” Englis said. “It’s a chance to really elevate the ideas and the businesses that they have.”

The awards for the competition total to $27,000 divided into six awards with varying amounts from $1,000 to $10,000. One award is a $1,000 audience award that will be decided by viewers and students. Each person can vote on their favorite pitch, and at the end of the night, the pitch with the most votes will be awarded the prize. Other awards have been endowed by the Ford Foundation, Bettyann O’Neill and the Chairman’s Challenge.

Beginning on Monday, students will begin pitching their business ideas to the judges for a chance to be in the second round. The judges will choose the top five pitches to advance to the second round, which will be open to the public on Friday, Feb 8.

In preparation for the first round of the competition, Harmony Petty, a sophomore early childhood education major with an entrepreneurship minor, is working on polishing up her pitch and putting the final touches on her presentation. Her goal for the competition is to receive funds to hire a student worker to assist with her business, Harmony’s Crafty Creations, that she began when she was a freshman in high school.

“I actually started doing wreaths, then just kind of changed it,” Petty said. “I had a CriCut for scrapbooking, and I kept up with doing things like that and figured out that you can make shirts out of it and stuff like that. I had already started the business, so I just kind of switched it.”

Another competitor, senior Spencer Russell, took a different approach to the competition. He used his creative technology major to develop an idea of a heated body pillow.

“I want to do a buy one, give one program for the homeless,” Russel said. “I want to start it in Rome, and then branch out to bigger areas.”

Russell has done previous work with the William S. Davies Homeless Shelter in Rome, and he hopes to continue his partnership with them through the development of this idea.

The Pitch Competition submission deadline is today, and the second round will be open to the public on Friday, Feb 8 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Krannert Ballroom.

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